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Arizona - Now easier to get judgment - new law signed


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After the Republican controlled AZ legislature "stole" the Home Foreclosure Fund Settlement and shifted it to the general budget vs intended homeowners, it also passed and Gov signed the Card Card Responsibility Bill (HB 2664) to help credit card companies get judgments.

House Bill 2664 gives debt collectors more power to try to collect credit-card debts -- and sue -- with less evidence than collectors are now required to show to prove the money is actually owed. Democrats and consumer advocates opposed the bill, saying the bill unfairly benefits out-of-state collectors and could force people to have to repay either paid debts or dismissed or forgiven debts.

The measure allows collection agencies to use final billing statements as a basis to show amounts owed and interest rates as they seek court judgments and wage garnishments.

The bill was favored by debt collectors, which buy delinquent accounts from banks and credit card companies for pennies on the dollar, but receive only minimal information from those sources. It can be difficult and expensive for the collection companies to get additional information on the defaulting consumers and business owners.

Debt collectors’ business model depends on them collecting money from the account holders whose information they buy. The new state law makes it easier on them if they can obtain final billing statements from the banks and credit card issuers.

This law seems uncomfortably close to the kind of legal by-step that allowed banks to foreclosure on homes to which they didn't hold an actual title, but MERS stated they did:

The language in this bill — primarily, but unofficially, known as the Credit Card Responsibility Bill — that pertains to collection agencies is this:

“In an uncontested court action in this state a creditor may establish the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer’s final billing statement or by the electronic record pursuant to section 44-7007 that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed. In contested actions the court shall weigh the evidence of the parties as required by law.”

Well yes, theoretically, the courts would weigh evidence. But as we saw in the Florida foreclosure courts, judges simply rubber-stamped the bank requests, no matter how egregious or poorly documented their claims. So I wouldn't count on it.

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“In an uncontested court action in this state a creditor may establish the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer’s final billing statement or by the electronic record pursuant to section 44-7007 that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed. In contested actions the court shall weigh the evidence of the parties as required by law.”

Read what I bolded...the moment an answer is filed, this clause no longer applies.

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Read what I bolded...the moment an answer is filed, this clause no longer applies.

Hmm, maybe I missed it, but I do not recall seeing the part you bolded in the original version of the bill. It's common for bills to go through a couple of committees where they can be amended, get sent to the floor of one legislative branch, then go through a couple more committees in the other legislative branch where they can be amended, then get sent to the floor of that branch. Was this bill amended, or did I just miss something the first time around?

Anyhow, that makes the bill much less insidious than it would have otherwise been because it basically is a law that will change very little.

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That text was from AZ Republic report but appears to not be in the bill about contested or not.

Assuming this is the final version:

44-7804. Establishment of amount owed on a credit card account

A. A CREDITOR MAY ESTABLISH A PRESUMPTION OF THE AMOUNT OF THE DEBT

THAT IS OWED ON A CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT THROUGH A COPY OF THE ISSUER'S FINAL BILLING STATEMENT OR BY THE ELECTRONIC DATA THAT IS MAINTAINED BY THE ISSUER

AND THAT REPRESENTS THE AMOUNT OWED. B. THE CARDHOLDER MAY CHALLENGE THE PRESUMPTION WITH ANY CREDIBLE

EVIDENCE AS ALLOWED BY LAW.

So it applies if contested or not but shifts purden of proof to debtor to show the statements of the credit card company are in error. That is a substantial change.

Someone has suggested that

this law runs counter to the 14th Amendment in that it seeks to deprive citizens of property without due process of law.

The burden of proof is often associated with the Latin maxim semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, the best translation of which seems to be: "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges."

Valmonte v. Bane, 18 F.3d 992 (2nd Cir. 1994). (In some Federal Appellate Circuit Courts, such as the Second Circuit, the "some credible evidence" standard has been found constitutionally insufficient to protect liberty interests of the parties in controversy at CPS hearings)

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From Courthouse News Service back on 4/9/12

The bill, by Rep. Jeff Dial, R-Chandler, allows creditors to establish "a presumption of the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer's final billing statement or by the electronic data that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed."

The state House approved the bill by 33-26 vote.

The bill initially was rejected by the state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, but was reconsidered and passed the committee, 4-2.

Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, a Phoenix Democrat, claimed that an unregistered lobbyist pushed the committee to pass the bill, and filed a complaint with the Secretary of State's Office, according to Arizona media reports.

McCune Davis said on her website that HB 2664 "gives debt collectors the power to accuse almost anyone of owing a debt without having to show a contract. If this bill passes a debt buyer would be able to sue a person with little evidence. The lawsuit could proceed if the company had something as simple as a spreadsheet showing a name and an alleged amount due or a generic credit card agreement - even if the debt has already been paid or dismissed."

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I believe most laws take effective 90 days after signing and other reports are effective in August.

I am not clear if applies to current case based on a motion filed after the 90 days or amend a complaint. Seems more a discovery issue so can be perhaps used in a Summary Judgment Motion by JDB or cc lawyer filed after the law is effective?

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Latest Tweets

* AZ State Representative Jeff Dial talking about jobs with Chandler Chamber Pres. Terri Kimble.: Posted By Jeff Dial (jeffdial) - Chumly about 15 hours ago

* Jeff Dial attending Happy 100th Birthday Chandler! Celebration: Posted By Jeff Dial (jeffdial) - Chumly Posted By Jeff Dial (jeffdial) - Chumly about 15 hours ago

* Legislature turned around Arizona's economy...": Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry: (more.. Jeff Dial (jeffdial) - Chumly ) about 16 hours ago

* Jeff Dial affirming that everything he's filing is true.: Posted By Jeff Dial (jeffdial) - Chumly about 2 days ago

* Jeff Dial filling out required paperwork for filing of nomination petitions.: Posted By Jeff Dial (jeffdial) - Chumly about 2 days ago

%%%%

This dude Dial refused to explain the exact purpose of the bill when approached by CBS 5 News back in April.

.......How can the sponsor of a bill "refuse to explain its purpose??? Whose in this guy 's pocket AyE??? CITI

J.P.Diamond????

Read more: AZ Senate votes down credit card bill HB 2664 (insurance, house) - City-Data Forum

Read more: AZ Senate votes down credit card bill HB 2664 (insurance, house) - City-Data Forum

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That's pretty disappointing and somewhat frustrating. Just as I'm emerging from a dark time in my life financially and personally Arizona's got to start changing laws to potentially drag me down for another few years. The Statutes of Limitations and now this. Maybe I'll move to New Mexico?

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That's pretty disappointing and somewhat frustrating. Just as I'm emerging from a dark time in my life financially and personally Arizona's got to start changing laws to potentially drag me down for another few years. The Statutes of Limitations and now this. Maybe I'll move to New Mexico?

I hate to say it, but it's not just the laws that are wrong with this state.

Look at our corrupt leaders like Gov. Brewer, Sheriff Joe...even the judge I have for my Midland case is in hot water & in danger of being thrown out of office as he's acquired a criminal record while serving. They don't even use real law-practicing people here to handle cases in the courts, they're all justices of the peace :roll:

But thankfully I'm escaping this place in about 6 months time, going back to FL :D Hopefully if you want to escape too, you can. It's a little harder to leave if you have a house and what not, but thankfully I just rent.

Sorry for the thread-jack, carry on :)++

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